Honest question: Who started the whole let’s get an orchestra or symphony type shit behind extreme metal? I know Dimmu Borgir has made some serious bank behind it with the fabulous Death Cult Armageddon and Fleshgod Apocalypse has obscured their lack of riffs with said gimmick, but can we let that trend die? I think I’ve had my fill. But what the hell do I know as Necronomicon has an album worth in Unus (Season of Mist) of synths and faux orchestrations designed to elevate death metal from simply crushing to the upper echelons of the avant-garde.
Is it working? Well, I guess that’s for the listeners to decide. At this point, it isn’t really clicking for me anymore. Am I hideously out of touch? Maybe. In my defense, I started jotting down my notes at nearly 1 AM and I’m typing this up after rolling out of bed and waiting for the caffeine to kick in. But lack of coffee be damned, a track like ‘From Ashes into the Flesh’ shouldn’t have the guitars buried underneath so much keyboard wizardry. ‘Infinitum Continuum’ borrows the opening (putting it gently) from Trivium‘s ‘Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr’ and is in the right direction until the weird choir bits come in acting as a surrogate chorus.
And let the record show that this review is not merely to pound on Necronomicon. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of meaty moments and deathly pummeling to be found on Unus. There is a severe deficit of lead guitar bits but when Rob Tremblay finally decides to show his fangs on ‘Vox Draconis’ it’s a fucking ripper of a solo. ‘Cursed MMXIX’ for the most part rids itself of any pretension and gets to business with a primarily thrashy riff and effective blast explosions.
Who am I to tell Necronomicon how to handle their business? All I know is that they could lose the symphonic bullshit and hire a second guitarist.
5 / 10